Sunday, 1 May 2011

Becky shines in Pirelli Challenge rally

KC Rally Team driver Becky Kirvan continued her BRC Challenge championship campaign last weekend with an excellent second in class on the Pirelli Challenge rally. Becky, from Burton Pidsea, was contesting the event in her KC, Princes Quay Shopping Centre, Bardahl Oils, Rally4Real, Songasport and Peart Auto Services-backed Ford Fiesta ST and after an encouraging result on the opening championship round in early April she was keen to put in another good performance on the Carlisle-based event.

The rally started in dry and sunny conditions with the Falstone stage to the north of Kielder Water and Becky, together with co-driver Kaz Watts, made a solid start, getting used to the surface of the notoriously tricky Kielder forest roads. The longest stage of the event, Bower, was next and Becky’s only problem was getting held up by another car which had lost a wheel and was travelling slowly along the course.

One stage remained before the crews headed for a service halt and Becky successfully negotiated it despite a couple of high-speed slides.

"The morning stages went quite well," said Becky. "I was cautious in Falstone as the surface was particularly loose which made the car slide around a lot, I did not want to risk a first stage accident."

"I pushed harder in the long stage two but getting stuck behind a car cost us a fair bit of time, the dusty conditions meant that he couldn’t see us so didn’t pull over immediately."

"I continued to press on in the third stage and perhaps pushed a little too hard as there were several places where the Fiesta got out of shape but fortunately I controlled the slides!"

Following the service halt the crews faced another three tough stages in Kielder forest, Shepherdshield, Pundershaw and Chirdonhead. Becky kept her pace up in the first two stages before backing off slightly to ensure she made it to the finish on the final one after seeing several of her fellow competitors off the road. Her tactics paid off as she arrived at the finish at Carlisle racecourse in 16th overall and second in class.

"The stages had several broken cars in them and with one of the crews going off just in front of us on the final stage, I made the decision to reduce my pace and make sure we made it to the finish, although if I'd have known at the time we were only three seconds behind 15th place I think I'd not have backed off quite so much, but that's one of the risks you take I guess! "

"I’m really happy with the result, the test session we did before the Pirelli helped me a lot and I feel I am getting a lot more used to the pace and handling of the Fiesta. There’s still more to come from both the car and myself and I can’t wait for the next championship round."

Becky’s next event will be the Jim Clark Challenge rally at the end of May. Please visit or to keep up to date with all the latest news and photos from the KC Rally Team.